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Dangers of Confronting Burglars in Your Home – Woman Letting Dog Out Murdered by Intruder

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August 25, 2011
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Dangers of Confronting Burglars in Your Home – Woman Letting Dog Out Murdered by Intruder

It’s one thing to confront a burglar when you know the intruder is in your home: as I‘ve written before, that’s just plain foolish behavior. Far more dangerous is the situation where you enter your home thinking all is well, and encounter someone in the act of stealing your cash, jewelry, or electronics. When you have no warning, as happened in this story from Osakis, Minnesota, the results can be tragic.

As she did many a day, Diane Fortenberry went home on her lunch break Friday to let her dog out. That routine chore turned deadly when the 51-year-old wife and mother walked in to an apparent burglary underway at her home outside Osakis, Minn., and was killed by the intruder or intruders, the Todd County sheriff said on Saturday.

A Senseless Death that Could Have Been Avoided

Fortenberry usually had lunch with co-workers and then would go home briefly to let her dog out, Mikkelson said. Investigators suspect that when she went home to do that, she encountered an intruder or intruders and was killed. Her body was found around 5 p.m. Friday by one of her sons when he got home from work, Sheriff Peter Mikkelson said. Preliminary results from an autopsy conducted by the Anoka County medical examiner found that Fortenberry died of blunt-force trauma. Fortenberry is survived by her husband, Michael Fortenberry, and two teenage sons.

Burglaries are Increasing – Even in the “Safe” Places

Her violent death shocked the small central Minnesota community, a place where few people lock their doors and kids roam freely, residents said on Saturday. "We are all shook up about it," said Lorellen Mielke, 61, who lives near the Fortenberrys' home. "My door is locked now." Several items were taken from the Fortenberry residence on E. Whitetail Trail, Mikkelson said. They included a 32-inch Westinghouse flat-screen TV, a large amount of gold jewelry, a laptop computer, collector coins and bills, and various electronic devices. The last homicide in Todd County was in 2006, the sheriff said.

Five years without a homicide is a long time, but times have changed. My previous post on the dangers of knowingly confronting burglars in your home was a grim reminder of why that's a bad idea: one homeowner was shot at by an intruder, and another homeowner was run over. But in this latest case, the victim made no error in judgment. All she did was go home to let the dog out, as she always did.

These stories are truly frightening to read. Assuming a determined burglar is going to find a way in (and they generally do), then what’s the right defense? The answer is simple: the best way to deter a burglar in the first place is with a monitored home alarm system. If the perps are not scared away by the loud siren, then the police will deal with them when dispatched by the monitoring center.

More and more homes are choosing peace of mind with a home alarm, and that’s where FrontPoint can help. We’re the leader in wireless home security, as well as the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. When you’re ready for a home alarm that’s safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, you’re ready for FrontPoint: no hidden fees, the best interactive, wireless home alarm technology at the best price, and world-class service. With only one in five homes in the US equipped with a monitored alarm system, there are still lots of homes – and homeowners – left to protect.

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